Sometime ago in May this year, I decided to make a bold step by enrolling myself in Comfort Driving Centre to take up bike lessons. It wasn't a rash decision and it took my quite a bit of deliberation before I made that choice.
So I went for my first lesson with the mentality of giving up halfway if the lessons were too difficult or 'dangerous' to manage. To my surprise, it was easy to grasp the concept since I already had my Manual Class 3 license. The clutch, the gears, stopping, moving off, checking of blindspots – everything seemed familiar and all I had to master was my psychomotor skills which was easy to pick up after a few lessons. Since I was the more 'kiasu' type as well, I went for a few lessons within a week so in just 2 months or so, I was done with all my lessons and was ready to book my TP (Traffic Police) test.
After a long wait of about a month, I finally had my TP test today and I must thank God for everything that happened while I was having my test. Here was what happened this morning:
5:10 am: Dear gave me a wake up call in his sleepy voice and wished me all the best as well. Very very sweet of him. Woke up, brushed my teeth and made a cup of coffee and realized that it was still raining. My confidence and mood dropped by 20%.
6:00 am: Left the house. Still a slight drizzle.
6:45 am: Reached Comfort Driving Centre and the sky seemed dark. Fortunately the rain had stopped. Waited around the Motorcycle Counter area for instructions.
7:15 am: The testees were ask to proceed to the Motorcycle Shed for a short briefing regarding our warm-up. Warm-up however, was only 1 round inside the circuit. Nonetheless, it was essential to warm up before our test started. We were also told the tag number that was assigned to us for the test. I was number 42 out of the 91 testees.
8:15 am: Time's up. Warm up session was over. We headed back to the Motorcycle Shed for further instructions before being dismissed for a short break from 8:30 am to 8:50 am.
9:00 am: One of the instructor began to brief us about what we are expected to do in the circuit and on the road. My heart began to pound faster.
9:30 am: The official Traffic Police testers arrived and took their place in the various stations. The first 30 testees were called out to where the bikes were located, then number 31 to 40, and 41 to 50. The rest of the testees had to wait in the Shed because all the bikes were fully utilized.
10:20 am: I came back into Comfort Driving Centre and headed to get my stuff from the locker. I took so long because of the traffic pile up at one of the junctions where I had to negotiate a U-turn. Not very fun, considering I had to depress the clutch on my left hand and the front brakes on my right hand. No idea? Try squeezing your friend's hand for half and hour and see if you get hand cramps.
11:15 am: We were told before the test began, to proceed to Classroom 9 on Level 3 for our test results. I was anxious and really hungry.
11:30 am: The anxiety of waiting for the results in a cold air-conditioned room made me want to pee. The first Traffic Police tester walked into the room and called out a few tag numbers. Those testees whose tag number were called out would imply that they failed their tests. I prayed hard that my tag number – 42 will not be called out. It didn't help when the Traffic Police testers took their time to consolidate the results because each tester came into the room at different time, and each time, different tag numbers were called out. Dear called and I couldn't give him a definite answer.
12:30 pm: My tag number hasn't been called out yet, which was a good thing. I still had to pee really badly. Soon, the door closed and our instructors told us that everyone who was left seated in the room passed! Immediately, I dashed out of the classroom and headed for the toilet. In the mean time, I called dear to tell him I passed. He sounded really excited and happy!
12:40 pm: It was compulsory for us to watch a video regarding Motorcycle Safety before applying for our licenses. Thankfully, the video wasn't as long as the combined waiting time we had during our test. The instructor also gave us a few tips on Motorcycle safety and some do's and don'ts to reduce the risk of accidents. I remembered him saying 2 very important things:
1. Don't pillion when you first get your bike
2. Don't speed.
1.00 pm: I applied for my 2B license and I am officially licensed to drive a motorcycle of 200cc or less!
Honestly, I wasn't confident at all because I witnessed a girl mount the kerb while she was doing her Crank Course and another girl hit 2 cones while doing a Slalom right in front of my eyes. I was so afraid that I will follow their mistakes and that made me more nervous than I already was. All in all, I personally felt that I underperformed because of my nervousness but fortunately, I manage to clear all the stations in the circuit without having any Immediate Failures.
I could breathe better when I exited the circuit to be tested on the test route. After all, there were only 5 testers stationed at 5 different junctions respectively. As such, I felt that I was less scrutinized and hence, less nervous.
Well now that my TP test is over, I can finally heave a sigh of relief and look forward to embarking on my riding journey.
Out of desperation, she had no choice but to post on Facebook to get more awareness. She is exasperated by MOH's incompetence and hopes that they can do something about it as it is really tough for her family.